Up to a certain point you may have felt like you were happily coasting along enjoying your experience of early pregnancy, in fact you’ve been blooming and happily telling people your news. That was up until oneday, when you woke tp with a curiously strange feeling in the pit of your tummy. Say hello to morning sickness.
Morning sickness is the most commonly used term for what is medically referred to as Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy – NVP. Don’t let the name confuse you, it’s somewhat misleading – morning sickness can hit at any time of the day or night, and while some women actually vomit, others may just feel nauseous.
75% - 80% of pregnant women suffer from morning sickness
If you are among the 75-80% of women, who suffer from morning sickness symptoms, then you may need to accept that this could be part and parcel of the 1st trimester of pregnancy,
When do symptoms start
Symptoms usually start around week 4 to week 9, and peak somewhere between week 7 and week 12. Lots of pregnant women notice that their sense of smell is far more pronounced and sharper than when they weren’t pregnant. While this certainly has its advantages, it does however mean that you may start to have extreme aversions to certain foods and aromas.
What causes morning sickness & how it differs from woman to woman
It is thought that morning sickness is most likely caused by the hormonal changes that happen during a woman’s first trimester.. It may be triggered by the increased supply of the pregnancy hormone hCG, along with increasing levels of oestrogen and progesterone levels, which in turn cause the muscles of your digestive tract to become more relaxed. This leads to less efficient digestion.
On top of this your uterine muscles are stretching now, pretty quickly, which probably doesn’t help your morning sickness situation much either. These changes, along with your heightened sense of smell, and that strange metallic taste that lots of pregnant women experience, make it a challenging time.
Not all women that are pregnant experience morning illness, and not in the same way, either. Some only have occasional queasy moments, others feel pretty sick almost around the clock, but actually never vomit. Others vomit every now and then, and some vomit quite a lot, making getting on with normal life a huge challenge.
Morning sickness can be a mild irritation for some women, but for others it can mean feeling really lousy for the early part of your pregnancy.
When you may be more likely to experience morning sickness
- If you’ve been pregnant before and had morning sickness
- If your medical history of taking birth control pills includes a tendency to side effects such as vomiting or nausea
- You’re pregnant with multiples
- You’re prone to migraines
- You’ve got a genetic predispostion to the condition (ie: your Mum, or sisters have had it)
- You suffer from motion sickness
How does morning sickness affect my baby?
Cases of mild to moderate morning sickness shouldn’t affect your unborn baby. The main thing is to follow the points below as best as you can, so that you are manging to get as much nutrients as possible into your system. Keep hydrated, and be sure to discuss your situation with your medical team.
Even if you are not gaining weight, once you are managing to keep some food down, and keepig hydrated, it shouldn’t be a cause for too much concern, apart from the obvious discomfort of the situation. Once again, however, make sure you are being properly monitored by your doctor, to ease any doubts that you may have. In most cases it will subside and your appetite will return after a short period of time.
More severe cases of morning sickness may even deserve hospitalisation. If a women has prolonged and servere vomiting, there can be a risk of low birth weight, preterm birth and infants who are smaller than normal when born.
How to ease morning sickness
If you experience morning sickness, your dotor or midwife may initially advise that you try some alterations to your diet and lifestyle, in order to help lessen your symptoms.
Included in these are:
- Getting a lot of rest tiredness could make nausea worse.
- Drinking lots of fluid, like water, and sipping them in small quantities, and frequently as opposed to in larger amounts this is so important, to avoid becoming dehydrated
- Eating small quantities of food frequently as opposed to eating big meals but do not stop eating.
- Eating cold meals as opposed to hot ones as they do not give off the odour that hot meals frequently do, which might make you feel sick.
- Avoiding foods or odours that make you feel sick.
- Avoiding beverages that are cold, tart or sweet.
- Asking those close to you for additional support and help it aids if somebody else can cook, but if this is not possible, go for vapid, non oily foods, like baked potatoes or pasta, that are simple to prepare.
- Distracting yourself just just as much as you can the nausea may get worse the more you think about it. Wearing comfortable garments without tight waistbands.
Miriam Erick, the author of “No More Morning Sickness: A Survival Guide For Pregnant Women” offers the sensible advice of being methodical. Start to take notes about what smells and foods trigger the reactions. Try to listen to your own body also, and be open to experimenting with foods that help ease your symptoms.
I know the headline may seem a little challenging, if you are sitting reading this, while feeling the urge to rush to the bathroom, but do bear in mind that morning sickness, in the majority of cases, is a positive sign that something is happening. In fact there are some medical studies that have revealed that women who have little or no morning sickness may have higher rates of miscarriage. However there are also plenty of women who don’t experience morning sickness and have normal, healthy pregnancies.
Continue reading, to find out how according to one study Morning sickness may mean healthier, intelligent baby.
What about medications?
If you can’t get relief by making the recommended diet and lifestyle changes, do talk to your doctor abut medications. In some cases it may be a better route, rather than continuing to vomit.
Some cases may merit that your GP prescribes anti-emetics – which is a type of antivomiting medicine that is considerd safe to use during pregnancy. In many cases a short course of antiemetics can be the solution, although they do have some potential side effects, such as:
- Muscle twitching
- Warm sensations/flushes on your skin
- Feeling weak
Other possible morning sickness solutions
One possible solution is Vitamin B6 – read more about Vitamin B6 and its benefits. Some women may find this sufficient by itself, and others have found that combined with antihistamines, their symptoms are reduced. Antihistamines, which are medicines to treat allergies, are not harmful to baby.
Traditionally ginger has worked well for many women to ease their symptoms, but although there’s evidence to support this, ginger supplements (at the time of writing) have not been licensed in the UK: So be sure to talk to your GP about this solution and get his or her support in choosing a good product.
Morning sickness medical studies
Morning sickness may mean healthier, intelligent baby – published in the Telegraph in 2014, this eye catching headine is about a study that was originally published in the Reproductive Toxicology journal.
Another fascinating theory is that: “Some have argued that nausea and vomiting allows the pregnant woman to avoid or expel foods that may be teratogenic or induce abortion. This may explain the close temporal relationship between the development of food aversions in pregnancy and the onset of nausea” – you can discover more about this and other interesting information about NVP or morning sickness, is this medical study.
All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.